KAPIRI-Mposhi UPND member of parliament Stanley Kakubo says the trend of increasing budgetary allocation to Defence and Police is worrying as it points to militarization towards the general elections.
And Kakubo says the Patriotic Front (PF) has continued with its lies to young people even though youth empowerment has never existed.
In a statement to News Diggers, Kakubo said he was worried about the continued increase of budgetary allocation to defence and police.
“We are worried about the trend of increasing spending on defence and police which to me, points to more militarization in the months leading to elections,” Kakubo said.
And Kakubo said youths in Zambia had remained disadvantaged due to government’s lack of commitment to youth employment.
“Government expenditure on youth employment is non-existent. The PF government cannot see that there is continuity of National lies in youth employment. The Ministry of Finance needs to understand that in the Sub Saharan Region, the Zambian youths are the most disadvantaged. When you look at the overall budget expenditure to youths activities, it’s about 1.8 per cent of the overall budget, which is very little. This means that the youths generally are not participants in the Zambian economy. In the sub-Saharan Region, Zambia is at the tail end of government expenditure in these sub-sectors. We are behind to countries that have been behind in terms of peace such as DRC, Burundi, etc,” Kakubo said.
“When you look at Government’s willingness to spend on education for youths to benefit, again Zambia is at the tail end in the Sub Saharan Region. The minister mentioned that there is K500 million for youths to access and he needs the authority of the committee (budget) to spend, when you look at it, per capita per youth, K500 million, if we assume that we have 500 million in the country, what the minister is providing is 100 per youth. That is the extent to which the government is committing to the youths. And that is really nothing.”
He noted that the K15 billion supplementary budget announced by the Ministry of Finance was predominantly debt servicing and election-related spending.
“Half of the supplementary budget was predominantly debt service and election-related spending. On debt servicing which is a non-discretionary expenditure, the Patriotic Front Government is likely to default if they have not already done so on some debt lines,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kakubo said the early disbursement of FISP was only meant to lure farmers into believing that the PF government has the capacity to deliver.
“FISP allocation is high because, going into a general election, the PF don’t want to mess up with the distribution of farmer inputs. Here, the farmer inputs will be delivered early to farmers in an attempt to deceive farmers into thinking that the PF government has capacity to deliver the needs of our farmers consistently. Further, government has made additional allocations to the Electoral Commission for voter registration in preparation of the elections. Surprisingly, I did not see any funding that was allocated for the National Census. Hopefully, the executive has adequate funding for this important exercise as it provides data for the determination of how many citizens are eligible to vote,” stated Kakubo.